Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lessons from 39,000 feet

According to the Southwest Airlines web site I have flown 18 times in the last year. I was surprised to hear that. My time in the air approaches 1.5 days. I would rather have spent that time on some beach or perhaps on a mountain top but it didn't work out that way. Nope. It's 36 hours in the clouds for me.

I have learned some things in those 1.5 days. "What have you learned?" you ask? Well. Let me reveal my #1 lesson.

I have learned that sometimes airplanes don't hold together as well as you might expect. Care for an example? I thought you'd never ask. In September I was sitting in the very back seat of a jet flying from somewhere to somewhere. I was in the window seat. And then the window was in my seat. Seriously. The inside window of the 737 fell off and landed in my lap. This was rather unexpected. I held it up, looked it over and decided it might make a good souvenir. I was eyeing my backpack when the flight attendant happened by. She asked me why I was holding the window. How do you reply to that? I told her that it fell into my lap. She failed to see the humor in the situation and told me to put it back. I could see my opportunity for extra peanuts on this flight rapidly deteriorating and so I put the window back up to the fuselage opening and slammed it with a closed fist. It popped back into place. I am pretty certain I saved the entire crew and all of the passengers from certain death. Depressurization is an ugly thing. And yet I didn't even get a "thank you." Just a scowl. The peanuts never did come by.

Well. That's how I spent part of my time in the air. Remind me someday and I'll tell you about the time I was the only passenger on the plane. Stellar.


Anonymous said...


There was a HOLE in your plane and she just told you to put the window back??? I don't think I'll ever fly those friendly skies again.

A hole in the plane for someone like me who is already hesitant to fly = terror, panic, nervous breakdown, and a dirty look on top of that would have sent me completely over the edge.

We had a bad landing once at Midway airport and THAT window still has my fingernail marks in it, I am sure.

(too lazy to log in)

Ron said...

Well, let me explain. The INSIDE window popped out. There was still an outer window and, obviously, that was the part that kept the plane pressurized. I couldn't reach through to the outside or anything like that. It's a double window. The inside one fell out.

Hope that helps ... but it doesn't change the fact that the window fell into my lap. :)

Anonymous said...

Well... now I feel a little dumb that I didn't realize there were two windows. Shows how much I fly. But I still think I would have panicked.
Flying puts me waaaayyy out of my comfort zone.

I still think you're a hero and think that flight attendant was mean for scowling at you ;P


Ron said...

By the way, Denise. ALL landings at Midway airport require a change of pants.